tv [untitled] August 5, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
the city identified we reached -- we met only 52% of the low income affordable housing goals but 153 of its market rate goals. i guess what i've heard over the years is justification, you know, it's high-rise housing next to transit quarters and therefore it's ok. and that's why i'm hoping -- it seems to be there's a move now through decision discussions on sb-375 to include the equity issue more because it can't just be we build high-rises, someone mentioned 555 washington, what, 400 feet of market rate, million dollar condominiums? how does that really address the needs of family housing, of middle-class family housing, of low-income housing? how does it really? there was always that notion you could increase the supply and lessens the pressure on lower income. i remember looking at the inventory and i remember it indicating there was no real
nexus that was really identified, at least in san francisco. so flooding the market with million dollar condos doesn't seem to be really helping us in reaching or meeting those needs of middle class or low income, not really. i don't think so. and i'd like to maybe have some more discussion of that or more consideration or a look at that sort of thing. president miguel: commissioner lee. commissioner lee: i'll follow up with christina olague. how can one person afford two-bedroom affordable housing? i asked the mayor's office of housing to figure out, when people leave, how do we know those units, three units actually have three families in it, or two units? the question is, are we managing our affordable housing stock correctly when we know someone with a two-bedroom affordable housing one person boggles the mind.
why hasn't the mayor's office provided us that data. they promised that. and when people leave affordable housing, do we have another candidate that actually goes in there that needs the affordable housing? and what happens if you have affordable housing and no one has been able to answer this, and then you get a very good job and you're making more than the person who needs the affordable housing? i think this whole issue of your income has to be important over time because if you come in affordable housing, you need it, you should have it. but what if you get a good-paying job you don't need the affordable housing, shouldn't you have to leave that affordable housing and give it to someone that actually needs affordable housing? so there's an equities to me i see if we did an audit of all the affordable housing, take a couple units, take a look at that, how many people are living there, how much they're paying and do an audit on it, we'd probably have more room for more people that need affordable housing. so i don't know how to proceed
with that but it still irks the crap out of me someone can have a two-bedroom affordable unit for one person, and a parking space. [laughter] president miguel: director? >> thank you. i just wanted to summarize a couple comments i heard and just make a couple comments myself. there's a lot of discussion about regional issues and i think that's actually very appropriate for us to talk about some of that. when some of the work i'm doing with the regional group, sb-375, the one point of optimism that's coming out is that that bill actually requires a connection between transportation and land use and there's discussion about actually tying transportation dollars to land use patterns for the first time. while there might not be an enforcement there is certainly a big incentive, and i think that will be significant in the years coming up. i just wanted to comment
briefly, on some of the comments i heard, many of the comments from the public and even from the commissioners and understandably enough, are not necessarily related to policies in the housing element but to actually how we implement them. and that's certainly understandable. and it is hard to draw a hard and fast line between those two things in many ways. the issue of the units being held off the market, i don't know that we could do anything to change that and legally i don't think we can force property owners to present their space. we certainly can make a statement in the housing element that encourages people to rent their units but i'm not sure that there's anything legally we can do to force people to rent out space. we certainly can have that discussion but i highly doubt we can. i do think it's important to distinguish between what are the high level policies in the housing element from the actual implementation of those policies in our plans and in
how we do projects on a day-to-day basis. and then i just wanted to finally comment on some of the recent changes. i know there's been a lot of concern about those. part of it was driven by my concern the housing element did not reflect some of the things we actually do on our plans, and that had to do with things like making sure that neighborhood contact, neighborhood character was an important part of our discussion. all the recent plans you adopted in the eastern neighborhood, market octavia and balboa park and so on make a strong point about preserving neighborhood character in those places we have a strong character. most of the eastern neighborhoods don't change to an r-3 zoning that was in plan area. i think that whole issue of how we address neighborhood character. the language we can work on. and i'm perfectly willing to do that and work with anyone who is willing to work on it. but i do think it's important that we look at that issue of -- that is very important to
this commission week after week about how we fit new development within existing context. and the other major issue that was addressed in these recent changes is when we do change neighborhood areas, zoning, how we do that. the process by which we would consider zoning changes. i think both of those things need to reflect kind of the reality of what we do. so i just want to finally say that while there is an upcoming deadline the commission may choose to not extent on the e.i.r., there is certainly more time and there will be several months ahead to work on the actual language of the element itself. and i just wanted to make sure the public knew that august deadline, whatever it ends up, is not the deadline for the actual text of the housing element. president miguel: thank you. commissioner olague. commissioner olague: i did notice some of the comments regarding student housing and was concerned because it didn't seem specific enough because i noticed they were saying --
about institutions should be responsible for providing -- given how certain institutions have been approaching that issue, i think the way to be real careful how we frame that in the housing element, otherwise everyone will use it to justify bad behavior. and then also, i think yeah, i support neighborhood character, i've been 100% behind d.r. -- and d.r., period. i haven't always supported the reform even the department has been proposing. i support neighborhood character but i think there are new issues i think we weren't looking at before and i think there's way of preserving neighborhood character but also taking into consideration what's being placed on us, which is the issue of decreasing carbon footprints and global warming and all those issues weren't here -- they were but weren't being emphasized to the extent they were now and you have senate bill 375 and you have federal measures that are happening on
the federal level and conversations that have to do with this type of growth. so i think that the times are a little bit different and certainly we support neighborhood character but we have to, i think, think about it a little bit differently, too. president miguel: commissioner moore. commissioner moore: in response to what commissioner olague says, in minimum i would expect neighborhood character to tie into what mr. cohen said into eastern neighborhoods and the study that went through very detailed investigation and self-imposed i'd -- identification, and was a minimum i would want to talk about and still preserve neighborhood character because it's one of the best examples of how to do it, you give and you take and you find balance between the two of them and i think that's an exemplary job of how it should be done. >> thank you. president miguel: thank you.
>> commissioners, we can move forward to item 9, 2007.1 275 a, the san francisco 2004 and 2009 housing element, public hearing on the draft environmental impact report. >> good evening, president miguel and members of the commission. i am with the major analysis division of the planning department. this is a hearing to receive comments on the draft environmental impact report for case number 2007 .1275-e, the 2004 and 2009 housing element. we just heard an informational presentation on the 2009 housing element but i want to reiterate that this is a draft e.i.r. on both of 2004 and 2009 housing element policies. the way in which the organization of the document is set up is that for each environmental topic area, we address the environmental
impact of the 2004 housing element followed by the environmental impacts of the 2009 housing element. staff is here to answer comments today. comments will be transcribed and responded to in writing and comments and responses documented. this document will respond to all verbal and written comments and make revisions to the draft e.i.r. as appropriate. this is also not a hearing to consider approval or disapproval of the project. that hearing will follow the certification of the final e.i.r. comments today should be directed to the accuracy and adequacy of the information contained in the draft e.i.r. commentors should speak slowly and clearly into the microphone because that's the court reporter can produce an accurate transcript. commentors should also state their name and their address so we can send them a comments and responses document when that is available.
after hearing comments from the general public, we will also take any comments on the draft e.i.r. from the planning commission. the public comment period for this e.i.r. began on june 30, 2010 and extends until 5:00 p.m. on monday, august 16. this concludes my presentation on this matter. if you have any questions, i am available. president miguel: thank you. before we start with public comment, i just want to mention that there have been a number of requests for extensions of the time. i personally would be willing to extend it for a full 60 days basically to the end of august, just as a preliminary comment. public comment, penelope carr, rose hilson, calvin welsh.
>> good afternoon, commissioners. actually, good evening, commissioners. i have a few things about the 2004, 2009 housing element draft e.i.r. in the previous item it's basically a draft still and my concern is this draft e.i.r. actually relies on the draft version and so it's hard to reach conclusions. i tried my best and actually truthfully this is my very first reading of a housing element draft e.i.r. and found it very interesting. there were 3,441 pages and 70.3 mega bytes of data and i really would like the comment period to be extended at a minimum three months because, as i said, the previous item, the
2009 housing element is in draft, not finalized. also there is a combination, kind of like this joining of the 2004, 2009 and it was very, to me it was very complex, not easy reading, and i think i'm just an average intelligence person but it got to the point where things were getting rather duplicative using the same objectives, policies and measures to satisfy numerous categories of environmental impact as less than significant except for two categories of noise and transportation and circulation which was significant. so for that, i submit to you my 40 typed pages of questions and comments because i am unsure of what everything means because i'm a normal person. i'm not an architect, i'm not a lawyer so i ask all these questions and i apologize for them. >> that's a lot. >> but i need to find out what this is about. i am a member of the jordan park improvement association.
i forgot to spell my name, h-i-l-l-s-o-n. first name rose. the president of the association richard warner asked me to read this letter. dear commissioners, on behalf of the jordan park improvement association, i request a 90-day continuance of the deadline for comments on the e.i.r. for the 2004 and 2009 housing elements. the 2001 -- 2009 housing element is in second draft and has not been adopted. the e.i.r. cannot be adopted on the assumptions made on the housing element which is not complete. we have retained council to prepare comments on this e.i.r. the jordan park improvement association objects to certification of the e.i.r. and approval of the proposed project. please grant the 90-day continuance on this matter. thank you, richard warner. thank you very much.
>> council community housing organization, calvin welsh. my remarks are only three pages. this is the third housing element that i've been involved in, only the second that had an e.i.r. and i've come to understand that housing elements approach being a near religious experience. but with mist cities hims and what is -- mysticisms and what is revealed is hids and there's blue smoke and it's extraordinary, on especially with -- i commend director ramen who says the proof of the pudding comes in the application of the policies on a day-to-day basis which is even more a mystical experience
when one realizes how they're applied. there are four basic objections the council community -- my name is calvin welsh, community housing organization, that we all have related to affordability. we believe the deir misstates, is both inaccurate and incomplete in measuring the city's failure and the environmental impacts of the city's failure of meeting its annual goals of affordable housing development goals. the e.i.r. makes near religious assertions, increased density on page vf-48, increased density, particularly when located near areas rich in transit generally produce lower vehicle ownership rates and therefore generate less parking demands than what otherwise occur. absolutely no proof. absolutely no supporting data,
indeed. you find on appendix f on the cd-rom on page 25 of appendix s no trip generations are provided for this study. how is it you can so safely assume that increased density, particularly when located near transit rich areas generally produce lower vehicle ownership. second question, does affordable housing have the same transit and traffic demands that market rate housing has? isn't that an important question? don't you make individual project decisions based on that, not analyzed in this deir? not analyzed. how can you possibly do that? and call this a complete or an accurate document. do you know that there are fewer uses of the term "affordable housing" or permanently affordable housing" in the proposed 2009 housing element than in the 2004
housing element? why a reduction in the policy of affordability? not explained. not even pointed out that there are fewer use of those terms. i would love to be asked questions to get to the questions that have been raised good affordable production in san francisco but my time is up. president miguel: thank you. is there additional public comment on this item? >> mr. president and commissioners, my name is john vargas. it's really pretty strange to see a process in this city of having the housing element being somehow slowly prepared
and put in some sort of official shape over a 10-year period and still not be in place. we have a housing plan that has not been in place 10 years. and then when it comes to the point of reviewing in the environment or impact report that is supposed to address the ceqa aspects of these proposed housing elements, and we have two of them. then when it comes to creating a public review period, we choose to do it in the summer vacation period for our families and students and everything else. i have to now appear to express apologies for hiroshi procuda of the san francisco
neighborhood. he's on an alaska cruise and has been there several months and usually takes them in the summer. but after labor day he'd be here. and it is really unfortunate to see something that's so fundamental as the housing master plan of the city be -- that it would be heard adequately in the public review period of 60 days in the summer and you've got 10 years to put it together. there's some sort of lopsided aspect into what is being expected of the department and the professionals and the commission and what is expected of the public and the people in the city who expect to be served by this document. so i urge you to take into curious account the letter from
cassity chenzi who successfully demonstrated in the courts it was an error to not have an environmental impact report prepared for the housing element which was an absurd decision and the letter asks for a 90-day continuance beyond the august 16 date, 90 days to have 2009 housing element that won't be finished until the october. we'll be talking about the e.i.r. in the 2009, that have the date also fall in october. thank you for the public comment period. president miguel: thank you. >> bob friesein. thank you for your attention. i didn't know until noon i would speak today and ironically, the person representing the 14 neighborhood groups was on a construction site. so i'm here in that regard not
to speak at this point on individual elements of the housing element but to congratulate the department for the fact they got it done in the volume sitting in front of bill lee. it's extraordinarily difficult in part because of the summer but in part because of the complexity of the documents and in part because of the fact it's very difficult to get all the component parts and commentors together to give the kind of statement where we can say with some hopefully confidence we'll have an agreement rather than a dispute down the line. i absolutely will do any best as we head down into the very recent past to get together, not only the spokesman for the neighborhood groups but the coalition of the san francisco neighborhood groups, bukrowitz and vicente representing the advisory units not just including district 2 and 8 but all those that are interested. i would like to stress again to john vargas the 90 day from the august 16 being an appropriate
time, if for some reason you cannot do 90 days, at least 60 days but not from june 30 for the reasons stated by mr. vargas. president miguel: thank you. are there additional public comment on this item? if not, public comment is closed. commissioner olague. commissioner olague: i was going to ask mr. welsh to elaborate on his comments earlier. if you don't mind, yeah, we had a small speaker list and that's why i didn't ask you at the time. >> it seemed to me, two extraordinary statements made by commissioners, one that somehow we don't know the affordable -- affordability level of residents of permanently affordable housing in san francisco and the data hasn't been presented. i've been in this commission chambers two heads of the mayor's office of house having
reported to this chamber, to this body, matt franklin and before matt franklin, marsha rosen. nonprofit housing developers are required each year to submit a report on the income levels and qualifications of each household member of continuing to reside in their unit. that's to the city and county of san francisco. in addition, every two years, if a develop has h.u.d. money it must file such a report or similar report with h.u.d. we know exactly how many people and what qualifications they have and whether or not they meet the requirements of the development of housing. that's how we provide housing in san francisco. we provide housing to people at certain income levels. and the city tasks to make sure that those people continue to meet those income levels. it is a base misstatement of fact that a, that information
has not been given to you and b, that somehow it has escaped our minds. second of all, it isn't 50% of the housing that is subsidized in san francisco. folks, it's 100%. the largest housing subsidy in this country is mortgaged tax deduction. 100% of the housing market in this country is subsidized by the federal and state government. so why do you want to point out or hold out affordable housing as being somehow subsidized and not somehow paying its way is absurd. all housing in this country is subsidized by the government, directly or indirectly. the largest single housing subsidy of the federal government over $2 trillion is the mortgage tax deduction, in addition, anybody who owns
rental property knows you get to deduct expenditures for rent from your federal taxes as well. so it's all subsidized, folks. the problem with housing in san francisco and the problem of this element in the statement of the draft environmental report is that it takes it out of the context, hopefully the sb-375 will try to put back into the context of transit, employment, and housing. it's a great triad. we can't simply believe we can solve the housing problem by this simple housing solution or that housing type. it's -- housing is a function of income. it's about who works here. housing, it's not housing that determines who lives here, it's who works here determines who lives here. and if we do not understand
that we have to reach some sort of balance between employment opportunities, income, housing and transit, then smart growth the way we practice it in this city, as i say in the paper, is silly. we are basically housing a work force, a commuting work force in san francisco. by missing our affordable targets, we're not creating jobs in san francisco that pay enough. the average worker. to afford the average housing costs in san francisco. 12% of our population can afford to buy a home in san francisco. 12%. so who's buying the market rate units that we overproduce in terms of the regional goals every year.
it's not san franciscoians. are they taking public transit? not hardly. they drive. or they're in minivans that are all over central san francisco, taking people to google. that's the reality. and for the draft environmental impact report to ignore that reality, to pretend it doesn't exist, to look in this narrow way at only housing inputs and not the totally of housing jobs and transportation, then i think we keep chasing our tails and asking ourselves kind of silly questions, how is it we're not housing the middle class. we are housing the middle class, they just don't work here, they work somewhere else. and i mean, the question becomes and i want to invite each and every one of you to the university of san francisco
on the 14th and 15th of august for a community congress that is among other things going to try to address how do we employ san franciscoians. in san francisco. since we -- i've been doing this, we've gone from 60% of the jobs in san franciscoians being nailed by san franciscoians to about 48%. it's very hard to believe that that doesn't have a dramatic impact on housing. and housing policy. and that's what i try to do in the paper and i think that's what has failed to be done in this environmental impact report is to fully understand and be informed of that relationship between jobs, housing, and transit. and we really do know who we house in affordable housin